Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Local Fresh Graduates

A quick check on the ministry of higher education website shows that there is a total of 20 local universities in Malaysia, back in my time there were only a handful namely UM, UKM, USM, UPM, UTM. With the increase enrolment of students to these universities, annually we are producing on an average about 79000 of graduates (statistics from 2001 – 2006) and recorded a hike of 48% from 2001 (55,000 graduates) to 2006 (81,000).

Being worked in the private sector for the past 11 years, I have the opportunities to interview numerous fresh graduates, offered them jobs, plan for their career, see them come and go. Sad to say the quality of our graduates is disappointing. See the figures you know, 15 years ago we have to really do good to secure a place in the local university due to the quota, now with 20 local universities, you think about the standard..., mind you Malaysians are not getting smarter to enter universities, the requirements has been laxed to allow more to enter universities. Children and parents are getting smarter nowadays but why our graduates are not? So it all boils down to our education system whether it’s at primary, secondary and tertiary level, whether in our national schools, Chinese schools, or Tamil schools, we are not supplying wholesome individuals and we are lots who aimed for “A”s but not hunger for knowledge.

We have so many straight “A”s students who continue to excel in universities but of little quality. So what is a quality graduate? Being in the quality line for more than 10 years, quality is defined as attributes of a product (can be tangible or intangible) that is able to fulfill its intended purpose, so what does a quality graduate means? An individual with certain attributes to function in an organization.

From my observation, I could generalized that our fresh graduates nowadays lack of pro-activeness, durability, creativity and soft skills especially in effective communication and interpersonal skills. I used to share with my juniors that nowadays information is at their finger tips, just click; challenge the system, do not just accept as it is and work on their communication skills as it is the most important tool to be able to work effectively and efficiently. If you highlight any area of improvement or things that they have overlook, they showed you their discontentment face!! Sign….For those who heeded the advice, they thrived and excelled, for those who are still in the nutshell, they are still struggling.

So what’s wrong? I believe our graduates are intelligent but they lack the other side, the ability to think and improvise, the ability to express themselves because they are trained to accept (No question asked), the ability to apply what they have learned and most of the time the ability to apply common sense!

Of course, I do admit there are some outstanding individuals there. The education ministry better do something, else…. I dare not imagine…


SOe said...

It´s a very interessting post. You can say we have a similar problem in Germany. There is actually a big discussion about our school system. The scientific departments like engineering at the German universities have really troubles to get good and enough students. (Natural) sciences is not so popular any longer. Because it´s the "heavy" way with all the mathematics.

celine said...

I noticed that the fresh graduates nowadays are facing difficulties to accommodate themselves to the dynamic working environment. Lack of urgency in handling "hot" issues. Some even having problem to understand a situation.

Wai Wai said...

Hi Soe, thank you for sharing your views from different part of the world, yes our education ministry have to really cracked their heads to come up with strategies so that education can really serve as a tool for nation building. I'm a Pure Mathematics degree holder, can understand why some has the phobia when dealing with this subject but I simply love numbers in whatever form it may be.. do you have a blog?

Wai Wai said...

Yes Celine, totally agreed and sometimes they are quite highly paid too........ so they really need to buckle up, sorry fresh graduate out there but this is the reality.


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